Before you add that next item to your shopping cart, answer this question. How do you feel about second-hand shopping?

Excitement?

Female wearing tan beret excitedly saying

Disapproval?Adam Devine emphatically shaking his head saying No! Hard pass.

Uncertainty?

Young woman, squinting eyes with a confused face with a caption

Whether it's online or in-store, buying pre-owned clothes, household items, and electronics has become increasingly popular over the past years.

Second-hand shopping can be a viable alternative to satisfy your retail needs, as long as you know what you're in for.

Can You Get Value For My Money?

Rest assured:

  • You can shop on a budget.

  • Bargaining is sometimes allowed. Get more for less with bundle deals.

  • Prices will be cheaper than new goods', even for high end brands.Tommy Hilfiger Fashion GIF by guardian

You should understand:

  • Items' remaining lifespan is unpredictable.

  • No refund! What you see, or don't see, is what you get, or don't get.

  • Items may show some wear and tear.

    Image of man smiling with a tea pot. He stops smiling and is confused when the teapot handle breaks off.

Have You Ever Wanted To Try Something New?

Treat yourself to a new experience without making a big investment. Recreational supplies are among the top-selling used goods.

Flat drawn image of woman with long brown hair and circular red class, surrounded by many icons of different hobbies..

You could try out a new:

  • hobby

  • instrument

  • look

  • DIY project

  • sport

  • game

  • household item or design

Keep in mind that it's unlikely that you'll get a warranty, manuals, or after-sale service. Also, it's hard to know how well items were cared for.

Buy This, But Not That.

Just because you can buy almost anything second hand, doesn't mean you should.

Flaticon IconBuy these things:

  • cars

  • personal items — clothes, shoes, jewelry

  • recreational items — books, instruments, craft, exercise, and sporting goods

  • household items — tools, appliances, home decor, furniture

  • vintage, classics, and antiques

Flaticon IconAvoid these things:

  • foods and other perishables

  • medical supplies or hygiene products

  • underwear and swimwear

  • anything that's impossible to deep clean or sanitize

What To Expect In Your Shopping Experience

Remember, goods are pre-owned. So forget about:

  • unwrapping packaging, new clothes smell,and peeling away protective plastic.

    Woman wit a very satisfied face peels the protective plastic from the screen of an electronic device.

  • asking for a different size or colour.

  • taking time to deliberate on a purchase. Someone may snatch it up.One woman grabs the final cookie from  the plate  while

There are a lot of affordable items! So anticipate:

  • spending time to sort through clutter.

  • some germs, bacteria, stains and even bed bugs.

  • the temptation to overshop. Do you really need more Tupperware?

A woman opens her top cupboard door and a flood of Tupperware falls on her.

Quiz

Pre-owned goods have a history that you're often in the dark about. Some sellers set out to exploit buyers. Which of these does not exploit the buyer.

stolen, recalled or counterfeit goods

purchasing goods to resell for profit

selling old birthday gifts

false advertising

Expect A Positive Experience

Meme saying  second hand shopping has become trendy. Man with surprised face says

Thrifting can be a rewarding experience because:

  • it's a large, regularly updating inventory of goods.

  • the nostalgia, treasure hunting and the unpredictability are thrilling.

  • you can find high-quality products at reasonable prices.

  • you are sure to stand on in your unique finds.

  • you avoid the marketing tactics of mainstream consumerism.

  • It's trendy.

Second-hand shopping is a socially responsible consumer behavior.

The environment thanks second-hand shoppers for reducing waste and minimizing their carbon footprint.

image of smiling earth, with two leave growing from the top,  hugging itself .

Take Action

Brand New Thrift GIF by 60 Second Docs

Are you ready to give it a try?

The second-hand shopping experience will vary from person to person, shop to shop, and item to item. Consider this alternative the next time you scratch that retail itch.

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Anna-Kay Dunkley

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